Struggling with Depression

I am taking a break from writing about fun stuff like failed relationships, RVing, reality TV and my hatred of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m going to discuss my life a bit and a one-time battle I had with what I figure is depression. I’m going to tell you what I believed triggered it, what happened while I was fully into it and what got me out of it.

I had a telephone discussion with an ex. Mistake because she blames me leaving her for the misery she finds herself in these days. In fact, she finds great pleasure in letting me know all the crap she’s been through is not a result of her refusal to work full time like us savages, but due to the lack of support I gave her. Ok. Normally that wouldn’t  bother me, but this session was different. She blamed me for her not having any children. She told me she wanted to have three children and now she’s too old to have any (she is).

That made me feel bad. Then I thought sticking around her essentially ended my family line. She didn’t say so, but getting pregnant would have been difficult for her. And the fact of the matter is if she truly wanted to have a kid, we would have. Bottom line, you generally start kids with intercourse, and we weren’t having it. At least not with each other.

Anyway, I thought more about it until I could barely do anything. I would go to work, come home and get right into bed. I would lay there and let these “waves of blue” crash into me. Only after talking to a friend did I realize what was happening. She suggested I go see a therapist, which I did not. I was barely functioning but hardly anyone knew.

What got me through it? My cats. I did not always like cats. In fact, I never wanted to be around them. My cats took care of me. One of our cats would curl up next to me while I was in the fetal position. He would sleep next to me and purr. Our other cat, the anti social one, soon became much more friendly. Before long, both of them would come upstairs, get next to me and purr while my life was going into the tank.

Thats why I’m going to cry like a baby when my cats go. I really really owe them.

What snapped me out? Nothing in particular except a desire to get out of the pity party. I did. It was time to stop feeling sorry for myself and start doing something.

Not everyone can do that. Hardly anyone can do that. It’s very hard. Depression is a mo—- f—-r. It can hurt you badly.

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RVng To The D.C. Area – Book In Advance

If you happen to be passing through the D.C. area while RVing, and you intend to stop there during a holiday weekend, forget it. Your choices are minimal and it’s going to be ridiculously expensive.

We intended to pass through the D.C. area, in Virginia. Virtually every major campground was booked solid, or wanted us to camp for a 3-day minimum prepaid. For a 1 evening pass thru, they wanted $130 to $180. We ended up staying at a campground sort of off the beaten path for $40. It wasn’t great but it was only a 1 evening pass thru.

If you are military, get out your FamCamp book and look for a military base. I’ve stayed at three FamCamps. Every one of them was solid. I recommend them. I stayed on Andrews AFB in the FamCamp. I booked it 70 days in advance.

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Raiders Strip Down to the Studs

I don’t mean stud players, I mean the frame of a house studs. By dealing Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack, plus cutting/trading most of their draft picks, the Raiders have entered a rebuild.

Many are putting the blame on Jon Gruden, the new coach. Others blame Reggie McKenzie, the general manager who made the draft picks Gruden is releasing.

BSP puts the blame squarely where it belongs: the Raiders owner, Mark Davis. There are many things you can say about Jon Gruden, but he’s no dummy. Jon Gruden didn’t want to deal Khalil Mack. Reggie McKenzie didn’t want to deal Khalil Mack. The owner wanted two things: Cheap players for his dome in Las Vegas and to get out from under Mack’s potential contract. He had to have told Gruden and McKenzie he couldn’t take on another $60 million in debt so he sent them to make the best deal he could. The same was true with Cooper and his upcoming contract demands. Many of the released players had value, but with the foundation of the team gone, the goal is to get as bad as possible, quickly. They clearly wanted to own a top 5 pick, and they clearly wanted to get additional quality players out of the next two drafts.

We get to Derek Carr. He is likely staying. Carr has his contract already paid into escrow. Davis is loathe to pay out money to players with future demands, but the ones he’s already paid are relatively safe. Carr could still go, but it would have to be to a really bad team in the NFC. Think a team without a QB, like the Giants. Gruden knows you don’t normally find great players in the bottom of the draft. If he’s getting a QB, it’s going to have to be a top 2 choice. Very few teams are lacking a real prospect at quarterback. Even a bad team like Arizona has a QB prospect. Maybe the Jags would be willing to give two #1’s for Carr but the Raiders do not want Carr coming back and killing them in the AFC playoffs. If the Raiders deal him at all, they would probably wait until the offseason when they know the Giants will end up with a very high pick.

So where does this leave the Raiders Fan? You must wait for competence till Vegas. Mark Davis has crapped all over his Oakland fan base with his anger towards Oakland politicians. Their legal threats to take the Raiders name from Davis clearly played a role in his desire to strip the team of its talent during the final seasons there.

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Another thing about RV camping: Safety

This past week, I heard an RV campground in Junction TX flooded after a storm. Four people staying in the campground drowned and were found dozens of miles away.

We stayed in Junction prior to our first Yellowstone trip. We wanted to observe any difficulties we might have before turning north into the remote portion of Texas. Despite heavy rain, we didn’t notice any flooding at Junction. We found out later we stayed at the North Llano campground, along the North Llano river. The campground along the South Llano was swept away.

This is a new item in our RV checklist. We always checked weather but weren’t as concerned about the locations because we’d stay away during heavy rain. We now understand if you are already out on the road, that’s not an option. We discovered another campground in San Marcos had suffered a major flood, ruining some RV’s in the park.

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EPIC RV Trip

I mentioned RVing in the earlier post. We did some EPIC RVing in August – September. Over 18 days, we traveled 5,717 miles in 21 states. We started from TEXAS, meaning it’s about 300 miles just to get out of the state. The far end of the trip was in Maine. Once again, we started 150 miles from Mexico and ventured about 100 miles from New Brunswick!

That’s 122 hours, or five days of driving.

We visited 5 key locations, only spending 2 days tops in each. All the others were pass throughs. We stayed in Louisiana, Georgia (1 mile outside Chattanooga), Madison VA, Andrews AFB MD, Florida NY, Foxborough Mass, Bass Harbor, ME, Bennington VT, Grand Island NY, Dry Ridge KY, Memphis, TN, and Canton TX. Not one of our camping locations was bad, although in KY, we ended up camped between I-75 and a railroad track.

While in Florida, we visited New York City. We had the chance to visit the World Trade Center site and memorials,

took a boat ride of New York Harbor & to the Statue of Liberty

and ate at Katz Delicatessen.

That’s a corned beef sandwich, try the pastrami on rye, or the Reuben according to the store manager! New York City, we didn’t stay long but it was worthwhile!

While in Foxborough, we ate pizza at Sal and Mal’s. That was one of the special places on the entire trip. The owner personally met us and gave us samples of a desert while we waited for the pizza. This is what a great pizza looks like:

That didn’t last long, for sure. Sal and Mal’s is a great, great place!

We also saw downtown Boston, courtesy of my wife’s son. I already knew so, but Boston’s a great city and great for the outdoors. We walked around there, great after being stuck on a vehicle so much.

The end of our northward trek took us to Bass Harbor, ME. We visited Acadia National Park

ate seafood in Bar Harbor. I didn’t get blueberry pancakes but I did have some blueberry cheesecake.

Yum!

We designed the entire trip to go to Niagara Falls. I had been to Niagara Falls before but didn’t appreciate it’s true splendor at the time. I was a kid, without much in the way of sense. I booked tickets on the Maid of the Mist. Here’s what Horsehoe Falls looks like up close:

We also visited family in Buffalo. One of the ladies from our church is from Buffalo. She recommended trying La Nova. As a result, we had buffalo wings in Buffalo. We also had some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.

When we left Niagara Falls, we went straight back to San Antonio by way of Dry Ridge Kentucky, Memphis and Canton TX. Actually it was interesting because we asked our pastor’s wife where to try some barbecue in Memphis, her hometown. She recommended a location. My wife’s a snob and declined to enter the place. We went instead to some barbecue place pushed by our RV Park. It was not my favorite place, but they had a decent tasting appetizer, it was unique.

After a night in Canton TX, we returned to San Antonio. I’ve never been so glad to return home. I drove almost all of the trip and frankly I was exhausted. I saw a lot of great stuff, met some great people and saw our family members but it was the hardest trip ever. If we do something like that again, we’ll end up taking 60 days to make the trip.

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Long time, eh?

So, I haven’t made a blog post in a long time. Here’s what has happened since the last post:

1. Khalil Mack was a Raiders player

2. The Raiders had some hope for the 2018 season

3. I’ve done some RVing, the subject for most of the upcoming posts

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Good Sam Club Roadside Service & Advertising

For those of us whose greatest fear is of your RV breaking down and leaving us stranded by the side of the road, there are several companies willing to help. They provide roadside assistance when incidents like those happen. They offer plans you can buy in advance for the situation.

One of those companies providing assistance is the Good Sam Club. Good Sam Club offers roadside assistance plans. There are varying levels of services offered, from standard to platinum. If you have a motor coach, you must have platinum service with Good Sam roadside assistance. Good Sam includes assistance for your towing vehicles as well as the travel trailer, Popup or 5th wheel. It’s actually a reasonable price ($119 to $149 a year) considering they offer a myriad of services for a breakdown. They will have you towed to someplace that can actually fix your RV. They will fix your flats or give you a jump if you need it.

The one thing I don’t particularly appreciate with respect to Good Sam is their frequency of contact. One RV show called them the “Good Spam” Club. The sheer amount of mail and email from that firm is astounding. I get no less than five pieces of mail or email per week from them or Camping World. If you buy a Good Sam product, apparently you’ve consented to get their SPAM. Frequent renewal requests begin 4 to 6 months from the actual expiration date. In fact, at Camping World if you use the Good Sam membership card for discounts, the cashier seems automatically obliged to ask if you want to renew something. Even if you’ve just renewed for multiple years!

I actually like Good Sam. Like I said, their roadside service doesn’t seem like a bad plan. I just don’t dig the tactic of near-continuous contact for months on end.

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Sig Sauer P320

I don’t talk about firearms much because it’s not a good topic. I’m interested in firearms. All of you who have more than casual interest in handguns know the Sig Sauer P320 is slated to become the U.S. Army’s (and U.S. Air Force) new standard sidearm, the M17/M18. While I have no interest in discussing the testing and evaluation phase of that decision, I will tell you I have a P320. I can also tell you I like Glock firearms though I’m no fanboy like seemingly all Glock owners. I’ve had a Glock 43, which is one of the best carry firearms available. It definitely does its job. It is highly reliable, like all Glocks. I’m also considering a Glock 19 because it kicks @$$. I guess I just sounded like a Glock fanboy there.

My P320 is now in a box, because I’m sending it back to Sig Sauer to get some imaginary work done on it. It’s supposed to have a problem with being dropped. I doubt it’s an issue because guns aren’t really designed to be dropped. Still I wanted to write about this firearm because the trigger is, in a word sh*t. A colleague who happens to be a gunsmith says the trigger is mush. Easily the worst I’ve ever had on a Sig. Ive heard people who think this is the best part of the pistol. No. I’ve owned the P239, 1911, P980 and they’ve been at least ok out of the box. It transforms the firearm from pretty good to meh. When I get it back, I’m going to have my colleague work on the trigger because it flat out sucks. I know Glock fanboy: you’ve not had that problem on your Glock? Well there a problem with Glocks, right out of the box: are you familiar with the term “SIGHTS?” You can sit back down at least for now, knowing those sights don’t mean much.

Did I mention my Sig Sauer 1911? I LOVE that firearm. At .45, it’s gonna hurt whatever it hits. Accurate with a shooter such as myself, and I’m not a great shooter. Highly recommend this weapon if you can afford it and you require a full size sidearm.

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